Wisconsin Odonata Survey


Pantala hymenaea  (Say, 1839)
Spot-winged Glider

Libellulidae, Skimmer Family


Global: G5     Wisconsin: S4    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This brownish dragonfly is best known for its gliding flying style, much like the wandering glider. The hindwings form an elongated triangle, longer than abdomen, broad at base and reaching halfway down the abdomen. The abdomen is tapered and mottled gray-brown. The face is yellow to orange. Mature males have red faces.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This species is common in United States and southern Canada. It is common in southwest, while it is mostly migratory elsewhere. Primarily, the spot-winged glider prefers temporary ponds and pools in the open, including brackish waters. But it also can be seen over fields, clearings, etc, well away from water. It is infrequently seen at scattered locations throughout Wisconsin.

Flight Season:

Late June to mid-September in Wisconsin.

Shading illustrates monthly percentages of the total flight season records for the species. Each flight season record is a unique date/location/observer combination where one or more adult or an exuvia was recorded (excludes nymphs). The actual number of flight season records for each month is shown in parentheses.

Flight seasons begin earlier in the southern part of the state, often by a week or more. Also, flight charts may not be accurate for rare species because of few data available.
View user-submitted photos

(Click on photos to enlarge)
Photo of Male spot-winged glider
Male spot-winged glider. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Male spot-winged glider
Male spot-winged glider. © Dan Jackson

Photo of Female spot-winged glider
Female spot-winged glider. © John & Cindy Anderson

Photo of Immature female spot-winged glider
Immature female spot-winged glider. © Dan Jackson

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